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Writing an Effective Professional Resume

A pair of glasses on a resume.

Your resume should be a well-organized profile of your qualifications for a career or job. Career Counselor and Adjunct Professor, Dr. Lawrence Crouch, has provided the following information to help you write and organize your resume.

Parts of a Resume

The resume is typically organized into sections arranged from most important to least important. Each – in their order – is reviewed below.

Identifying Information

This should include your name, present and permanent address, phone number with area code, and email address.

Professional Objective

Prepare a brief, clearly defined statement indicating the field or position in which you are interested. The Career Objective represents the theme of your resume with the remaining information supporting your goal. If you are interested in more than one career field or position, consider a different resume for each professional objective.


For each post-secondary degree (most recent first), list:

  • Your college or university followed by the degree, major and graduation date.

  • Your GPA ONLY if it is 3.0 or better. If your GPA is less than a 3.0, you may want to identify only our major GPA.

  • If you have worked during college, consider including the percentage of the college expenses you earned.

Qualifications or Skills 

Include a section which briefly summarizes any skills or qualifications you have gained from work experience and/or extracurricular activities that relate to your professional objective, including computer skills. This is especially helpful if your work experience is not career related. Examples of skills summary statements are:

“Excellent time management skills developed through working 25 hours per week while a full-time student.”

“Developed leadership skills by serving as a community assistant responsible for 40 residents.”


List your work experience in chronological order, with the most recent first. Experiences may include full-time or part-time employment as well as summer jobs, volunteer work and internships. Follow these guidelines:

  • Give the name and location of organizations for whom you have worked.  Include the position, title and dates you were employed. Be certain to add your Practicum and Internship experience in this section.

  • If your experience is career related, state the positive aspects of your work (i.e., accomplishments acquired skills and job growth). Quantify with numbers (i.e. “cash sales of $9,000” or “supervised four clerks”).

Honors and Activities

  • Honors – List any honors which indicate your strong academic abilities (i.e., honorary societies, scholarships, awards and dean’s list). Also include any honors related to character and/or community service.

  • Activities – Employers look for well rounded individuals who involve themselves with extracurricular activities. Include both college and community activities. List offices, committees and responsibilities.

  • References – If you do not have space on your resume for references, it is a good idea to state “References are available upon request” at the bottom of resume. Create a listing of your references with work addresses and phone numbers on a second page. Always make sure that you have permission from individuals before listing them as references.

Dos and Don’ts 

Listed below are a few “Dos and Don’ts” to keep in mind:

  • Accentuate your most marketable skills and experiences.

  • Communicate enough information to an employer to elicit further interest. Avoid wordiness.

  • Omit personal pronouns.

  • Don’t get bogged down in details that are of no interest to potential employers.

  • Avoid a dishonest resume.

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